NNA - In a press release by UNICEF on Wednesday, it said: "The government of Germany, through the KfW Development Bank, has renewed its commitment to the Lebanese education system with a €50 million donation towards MEHE's Reaching All Children with Education (RACE) plan. This commitment covers the education costs for more than 120,000 Lebanese and non-Lebanese girls and boys from ages 3 to 14 for the current scholastic year. With this contribution Germany fulfils its commitment of the London and Brussels conferences to ensure that no child in Lebanon is left behind.
The additional funding was announced during a joint visit to the Uruguay mixed public school headed by the Lebanese Minister of Education, Akram Chehayeb, the German Ambassador to Lebanon Dr. Georg Birgelen, the Head of KfW "Stabilization and Reconstruction Middle East" Division Gunnar W?lzholz and UNICEF Representative to Lebanon Tanya Chapuisat.
"I am happy that my first field visit as the Minister of Education and Higher Education is with the German ambassador and I would like to thank Germany for their generous donation in support of the RACE programme," said minister Chehayeb. "I would also like to emphasize that despite the decrease of the international funding, Lebanon has not closed its public schools in the face of any student disregarding their nationality".
The government of Germany has been the biggest donor to the RACE programme since the beginning of the education response to the crisis in 2013, with an overall engagement of USD 286 million. With this funding, more than half a million children were granted access to education and more than 80 Lebanese public schools were rehabilitated.
Ambassador Dr. Birgelen said: "Children are our future. I am impressed by the Lebanese commitment to ensure quality education for all. Germany stands ready to support Lebanon - not only by contributing to the RACE programme but also by investing into the infrastructure of Lebanese public schools."
Despite the ministry of Education's and its partners strong efforts, still too many school aged vulnerable children are out of school or learning. "Securing children's access to education is a key intervention to supporting child rights principles," said Tanya Chapuisat, UNICEF Representative to Lebanon. "The generous support of the Government of Germany has sealed the long-standing partnership between UNICEF and the ministry of Education to ensure access to formal education and learning".
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere."